UNC Truth Battle – part 5

Members of the Media and Friends of Open Government:

Please find two emails: (1) from UNC President Tom Ross and (2) from Brent Barringer, lawyer and BOG member, in response to may email “Confidence in UNC should be restored, not deteriorated.”

As you will read, UNC leaders refuse to answer the fundamental question – was any UNC business discussed at this “informal session”? If business was discussed, then it is CLEARLY a violation of the NC Open Meetings Law.

I will of course copy you on my response to UNC leaders. They may try to avoid the issue by “attacking” my words, yet the truth is on our side.

The definition of a lie is, “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive.” President Ross is right to say I do not have all the facts – that is not possible because the public and media were NOT ALLOWED at this “informal gathering.”

Yet I know the truth; University business WAS discussed, and under NC law the meeting should have been announced to the public, media should have been invited, role taken, and minutes kept.

With the truth on my side, I have thus come to the unfortunately conclusion that UNC leaders are and have lied about this matter.

In a time of NCAA investigations, million dollar contract bailouts, rampant cheating, resignations and firings, budget cuts… we need and must demand openness. And that is why I will continue to ask UNC – who among them will lead?

I’ll keep you updated, andrew

PS – what also amazes me is that no one leading our great University stopped and asked, “they say what we are about to do is legal, but is it ETHICAL?”

Related posts: UNC Truth Battle – part 4

UNC Truth Battle part – 3

Part 3 of HonestNC’s ongoing series, “UNC Truth Battle”:

Part 1
Part 2

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University of North Carolina system President Tom Ross’ response to my initial “observations.”

Dear Mr. Payne,

Thank you for your email and your opinions. I regret that you have chosen to accuse the members of the Board of Governors of misleading the public and being liars without having all the facts. Your words are strong, less than civil and, in my opinion, are inappropriate.

Because you have raised concerns that a recent orientation workshop for incoming and returning members of the UNC Board of Governors may have violated the state’s Open Meetings Law allow me to offer to you some additional information. This informal session, facilitated by a Fellow from the Association of Governing Boards, offered the 16 members who had yet to be sworn in and the 16 continuing board members an opportunity to get to know one another better, to learn about general principles of good governance, and to consider how they all can work together most effectively in support of our University system. At the outset, our General Counsel distributed and reviewed clear guidance on the University’s duties and obligations under the Open Meetings Law and took great care to ensure that the workshop discussions didn’t stray into University business.

As an attorney who spent 17 years on the bench, I believe in the law and am going to do my absolute best to ensure that we abide by it. I am confident the University and the Board of Governors fully complied with the law during both the pre-meeting workshop and the official board meetings that followed.

Best regards,

Thomas W. Ross
President
The University of North Carolina
PO Box 2688
Chapel Hill, NC 27515